Tunisian took break from travel agent job to shoot tourists

Policemen are pictured near damaged tiles inside the Bardo museum in Tunis March 19, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Anis Mili

(Reuters) – Shortly before he and a friend gunned down 20 foreign tourists at Tunisia’s Bardo museum, Yassine al-Abidi sat down to a breakfast of olive oil and dates with his family and left for work at his travel agency as usual.

His relatives, mourning his death in a hail of police bullets in the midst of the attack, said they could not understand how a lively, popular young man with a taste for the latest imported clothes could have done such a thing.

They said he was typical of the young men of Tunis’ Omrane Superieur suburb. He graduated in French, held down a job and showed no sign of the hardline Islamist ideology that would drive him to commit the worst militant attack in a decade.

But relatives said last year he had begun to spend more and more time at a local mosque, following a pattern of rationalization of Tunisian young men who then find themselves fighting in Syria, Iraq and Libya…

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